Once upon a Christmas dinner, there were six to eight people gathered around a beautiful table with china, crystal, select wines, and an expensive roast.

Some of the people didn't like each other or seem to love each other well. "I mean with the real kind."

Once upon a Christmas Day two people and a little dog, no table or Christmas dinner only a large pizza with extra cheese to celebrate the day. They laughed about the Christmas pizza and were grateful. The little dog enjoyed licking the pizza crumbs from the cheeks of the two people who liked and loved each other. "I mean with the real kind."

Once upon the next Christmas dinner, the same six to eight people sat around the beautiful table and ate fine food. They hadn't learned to like or love each other well. "I mean with the real kind."

Once upon the next Christmas Day, the two people and the little dog and a big dog named Star had a Christmas table and a real Christmas dinner. They were so grateful. They continued to like and love each other. "I mean with the real kind."

Some of the six to eight as well as the two people knew what Christmas Day looked like.

People were kinder, happier, laughed more, neighbors forgave neighbors for not mowing the lawn.

Bakeshops sold cookies of all shapes and sizes. Gingerbread men eyes, mouth and buttons painted with vanilla icing lined the shelves wanting to jump off and shout "Come dance with me and sing "Jingle Bells."

Stores served warm apple cider with a cinnamon stick. The aroma streaming a silent Merry Christmas to passersby.

Church bells rang defying the hustle and bustle determined to announce Christmas Day.

Oh, the beautiful children. One of the magical scenes of Christmas believing in the robust, red-suited man with the long, white beard, listening for reindeer hoofs; imagining they might have heard them.

On Christmas morn, the top step held pajama-clad feet, hoping the cookies and milk so carefully placed would be gone signaling the desired toy might be under the tree next to the manger scene tucked into sheets of white cotton simulating snow.

The locomotive and the caboose circling the tree guarded the toy hesitating as it approached whistle-blowing steam escaping seemingly writing in the aid, "It's here! It's here!"

The tired Santa with the wrinkled shirt, gleaming belt buckle, and long, black boots saw the believing eyes dancing to the tune of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

He smiled whispering, "This is my Christmas miracle and always will be." Merry Christmas. 

Webster writes from Del Haven.